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Actor Headshots... Help needed!


BubbaG2000 12 767 1
16 Jun 2009 12:11PM
Hi guys

I have an up-and-coming actor ask me to do some headshots for his portfolio. I welcomed the opportunity (he cannot afford a professional). A quick google image search churns out loads of bland B&W headshots. Is that the norm? He's not sure himself what he wants you see.

Has anyone done anything like this? Is there any advice you can throw my way (whether you have done it or not)?

Thanks in advance, hope all's well.
G

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fauxtography 14 6.6k 36
16 Jun 2009 12:25PM

Quote:A quick google image search churns out loads of bland B&W headshots. Is that the norm?


Headshots are about the subject not the photographer, so they tend to be quite simple and should show off the subject in a good light...i.e. good, well thought out lighting, but not over stylised so that it overpowers the subject. Simple is often better.

You could maybe tailor a few to different emotional states, happy, severe, neutral, so that he can choose which to send for which roles. If he has an agent, they may be able to give some direction on what is needed.
Fishnet 15 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2009 12:38PM
A good friend of mine is an actor in Torchwood and he wanted new headshots for his Spotlight profile and they are quite strict about how they should look, they are preferably B&W and very simple, no fancy lighting, no dark and moody shots, they need to be clean and simple so that prospective clients can get a good idea of what the actor looks like in real life before they meet them.

He then asked me to take some more creative ones for use in publicity for his gigs and his website as he's also a stand up comedian.

Hope that helps.
rowarrior 11 4.4k 9 Scotland
16 Jun 2009 12:40PM
Check out the strobist blog for lighting, they're running a bootcamp right now, and the first assignment happens to be lighting (sorry, can't link from work, blogs are banned!)
BubbaG2000 12 767 1
16 Jun 2009 1:18PM

Quote:sorry, can't link from work, blogs are banned!


VERY understandable! Grin
Thanks guys. I suppose it is all about getting his face on paper. It will be done in a large, white-walled hallway, so lighting could be kinda fun.
MikeA 15 1.3k England
16 Jun 2009 1:38PM
When you post in EPZ , there are targeted ads at the bottom of the page that are appropriated to the posted subject. Use it to your advantage. Check the link out for examples of head shots Wink

link
Geraint 13 715 34 Wales
16 Jun 2009 2:03PM
Hi there. I do a lot of actors headshots, and being an actor myself I think I know a little bit about them! They can be a bit 'bland' as you say, because the important thing is that casting directors and agents see the person 'as they are'. However, with the increasing use of digital media in casting (Spotlight/emailing photos/actors' personal websites), a variety of looks is now essential. Whereas before an actor would have their ONE hard copy headshot for loads of different roles, they now are able to have different looks that suit each one (i.e. evil look for a baddy role, innocent look for a girl-next-door role etc), owing to the ease of use of digital.

However, SO many headshot photographers still only offer a short session, just capturing one or two looks unfortunately. In my sessions I go through a range of scenarios/moods etc that I try and get the actor to portray, with the result being them having a wider range of styles to choose from. Serious/evil, smiley, natural, sad, innocent etc...

Keep the lighting simple - remember the important thing is that the actor actually looks like himself. It's no good him turning up for an audition only for the agent to see that he looks nothing like his headshot! And keep the background simple as well. If you can take some outside in natural light, and some in that hallway (as different agents have different preferences). Have a look at my website if you want, to see the style I use. I'm not saying it's the correct way, but I think it offers a bit more than the (many!) bland styles you see when you trawl the internet for actors headshots. PM me if you'd like more specific info.
Hope that helps!
Geraint
BubbaG2000 12 767 1
16 Jun 2009 3:58PM
Thankyou very much for the link Mike.
Geraint, that was waaayy more help than I expected to get, so thankyou very much. I will indeed check out your site. You have also given me a list of questions to ask him on the day. Thanks again.
discreetphoton Plus
15 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2009 5:02PM

Quote:Check out the strobist blog for lighting, they're running a bootcamp right now, and the first assignment happens to be lighting (sorry, can't link from work, blogs are banned!)


Should read: first assignment is headshots Smile
rowarrior 11 4.4k 9 Scotland
16 Jun 2009 8:14PM

Quote:Quote:Check out the strobist blog for lighting, they're running a bootcamp right now, and the first assignment happens to be lighting (sorry, can't link from work, blogs are banned!)

Should read: first assignment is headshots



yeah, I think I got distracted by some real live work while I was in the middle of typing that, sorry!
discreetphoton Plus
15 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2009 8:44PM
That's all right, at least one of use should have a proper job Wink I just visit pubs/ cinemas/ coffee shops for my living
Geraint 13 715 34 Wales
16 Jun 2009 10:15PM

Quote:That's all right, at least one of use should have a proper job I just visit pubs/ cinemas/ coffee shops for my living


Do you need an assistant? Wink


Quote:Geraint, that was waaayy more help than I expected to get, so thankyou very much. I will indeed check out your site. You have also given me a list of questions to ask him on the day. Thanks again.


No problem - glad to be of help!
uggyy 14 2.1k 9 Scotland
16 Jun 2009 11:04PM
Gavin,

Call me dork :-P
rowarrior 11 4.4k 9 Scotland
17 Jun 2009 9:23AM

Quote:Gavin,

Call me dork



Hey, it's not often you tell us we can call you names, but I'm happy to oblige Tommy... Grin
uggyy 14 2.1k 9 Scotland
17 Jun 2009 4:01PM
I walked into that one... and IM hurt... Wink well I hurt my head on the wall when I hit my head off it Smile


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